A Post-Winter Health Check for Trees

Trees can be undeniably beautiful, but also have the potential to be problematic. The trouble is, the vast majority of serious and perhaps even dangerous arboreal issues aren’t picked up on until it is too late. Falling trees, falling branches and so on can wreak havoc with their surroundings. And indeed they do, resulting in all manner of accidents, injuries and extremely expensive damage to property each and every year.

When you take all of the above into account, it highlights the importance of being proactive when it comes to tree health. In some instances, there may be little or nothing you can do to protect your trees from damage and ill health. Nevertheless, there may be plenty that can be done to ensure that any serious issues are headed off at the pass. The trick is to keep a close eye on things, in order to note any emerging issues when they first present themselves.

An Audit After the Storm

Getting into the habit of regularly inspecting your trees can help you save time, money and a whole heap of problems long-term. It isn’t a difficult process and will provide you with priceless peace of mind. For obvious reasons, this is of particular importance following bouts of extreme weather and prolonged periods of unsettled conditions. Suffice to say, the UK winter ticks all such boxes in spades, which is why we always recommend giving trees an inspection in the run-up to spring.

Why now? Well, for the simple reason that it is far easier to inspect a tree during its dormant stage when there are few or perhaps no leaves obstructing your view. Wait until the tree is once again lush with leaves and you face a very difficult job.

The important thing to bear in mind is that whatever problems you come across, addressing them as early as possible is always preferable, easier and cheaper than waiting for things to get worse. We offer a comprehensive range of remedial and advanced tree management services alike no job ever being too big or too small.

In terms of carrying out the inspection, we always advise looking at things from the ground up. Stand by the base of the tree, carefully examine it from the bottom to the top and continue around the whole of the base. As for what exactly you should be looking out for, some signs of emerging problems are more obvious than others. However, if you note any of the following, you might want to give us a call:

  • Any sign of dead limbs, branches or twigs at any position in the tree. A few dead twigs will probably be nothing to worry about, but larger branches or limbs showing signs of problems should be taken seriously.
  • Anything that has broken or snapped, though either remains attached to the tree by fine threads or is being suspended by other branches or limbs. These represent largely inevitable hazards that will sooner or later fall.
  • It can be difficult to distinguish which splits, cracks and marks and so on are normal and which constitute signs of emerging problems. Generally speaking, any cracks or splits that are either new or are clearly getting bigger warrant further investigation. This includes cracks and splits to both the trunk of the tree and its branches.
  • If the tree is once again beginning to show signs of life after winter, take note of any obvious changes in the way in which it develops its leaves. It could be the changes in the colour of the leaves, areas where fewer leaves are developing or any apparent problems or abnormalities with the leaves themselves. The same also goes for the buds and flowers that grow on the tree any abnormalities whatsoever could indicate a problem behind the scenes.
  • While many examples do not necessarily represent a direct threat, there are certain fungi, mushrooms and toadstools that can represent problems with the tree. Keep a close eye out for any that grow around the tree itself or around the base of the tree, being sure to ask questions where necessary as to what the growth could mean.
  • If the tree appears to be leaning in any direction and to any extent, it should be regarded as an urgent issue warranting immediate attention. It could well be that the tree is still 100 safe and secure as it stands, but it could also be that its catastrophic collapse is imminent.
  • Last but not least, take a look around the base of the tree to see if there are any signs of movement. It if appears as if the tree has been moving and disturbing the ground around the base, it could be that it is no longer solid enough in the ground around the root and therefore requires immediate attention.

For more information or to discuss any of our tree management services, get in touch with the Target Trees team today.